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Viewing Results for Graduate Student Survey about the VT Graduate Honor System

Have you reviewed Virginia Tech�s Graduate Student Honor System(GHS) (available at and in the Graduate Student Catalog)?

65.12%\% Yes (211/324 responses)
34.88%\% No (113/324 responses)
98.48% of the people who took this survey
(324 / 329) answered this question.

Do class syllabi (or similar documents) you receive from your instructors typically include a statement about compliance with the Graduate Honor System?

90.12%\% Yes (292/324 responses)
9.88%\% No (32/324 responses)
98.48% of the people who took this survey
(324 / 329) answered this question.

Do you think instructors and graduate students should have access to tools such as Turnitin that can educate, prevent, and detect plagiarism?

80.88%\% Yes (258/319 responses)
19.12%\% No (61/319 responses)
96.96% of the people who took this survey
(319 / 329) answered this question.

Would you be in favor of there being a short online tutorial about academic integrity and the Graduate Honor System to be taken within your first semester of graduate education at Virginia Tech?

69.78%\% Yes (224/321 responses)
30.22%\% No (97/321 responses)
97.57% of the people who took this survey
(321 / 329) answered this question.

Would you be in favor of the development of an alternate, decentralized mediating process that could be used prior to or in lieu of initiating formal Graduate Honor System procedures?

71.94%\% Yes (223/310 responses)
28.06%\% No (87/310 responses)
94.22% of the people who took this survey
(310 / 329) answered this question.

Comments on the Virginia Tech Graduate Honor System

Text Responses (93 for this question)
"As a graduate of a Service Academy, I think that VT could look to the way the honor code is encouraged there. Not perfect, but it's worked for a long time."
"As a graduate student, especially in concern of writing papers etc it's quite important to learn and prevent plagiarism. However, as a graduate student, the school should also prepare the students the experience in industry. In a working environment, the goal is to get the job done, which always involved seeking Willing helps from other people. My concern is that the current system may discourage this in way to make students unprepared for future job experience."
"As far as I know, most people avoid using the honor system due to the time it takes, and instead just give the person/people a zero for their assignment/exams that they "cheated" on."
"As long as expectations are fully explained and procedures are made clear, graduate students should meet those expectations."
"Clarifications: Q1: I've looked at one portion of the online GHS. Q4: I'm not sure the the online tutorisl should be mandatory, but I don't know."
"Every professor I've had, has had in there syllabi a statement about the honor system and where to find it. As far as the online tutorial, would it be required? If so, would it include a little quiz or just that fact that the whole thing was seen from start to end? Also, The tutorial, would it be a "tutorial" or a video? If it is a video, it could be set up like Macromedia Breeze, but you would need a way to determine if the whole thing was seen from start to finish. The last question, "mediating process," Are you implying that after someone is accused of breaking the honor code, before formal hearings start, to have an alternate preliminary something? I would be glad to help out some more. I have included the personal information below."
"from my perspective the VTGHS hasn't really been an issue; I work in a classified environment all day long, every day of the week, so I may be the wrong person for this poll...I think the professors (and peer grad students) should have ability to bring questionable behavior, sourcing information, etc. to the attention of their most immediate faculty member; further, I feel that awareness of a peer's violation in policy without appropriate subsequent steps should hold identical consequences for the witness who did nothing about the wrongdoing. To make consequences truly effective, correction of the incident should be very public. I am really not a fascist; I am just a firm believer in doing the right thing, and if the parents of the offender were too lazy to correct their kid once upon a time (and establish what the right thing is), it should be [relatively] extreme now that it is falling upon the shoulders of the community to correct and prevent this type of behavior."
"GHS in its current form seems sufficient. Instead of worrying too much about enforcing increasingly elaborate plagiarism detection schemes, a more strict enforcement of grad students' proficient command of English seems desirable. There's a direct link between poor English and plagiarim."
"Good enough"
"Haven't had any problems with it so far..."
"Haven't really had any experience with it at all. So, I really do not have an opinion."
"I am a huge advocate of the honor system and have served as a grad honor system panelist for the last three years. It seems to me that the system is backed up, in that cases aren't brought forward and reviewed in a timely manner, leaving accused students in limbo as they await adjudication. A decentralized process that could filter cases before they reach the formal Grad Honor System is a good idea, but it would have to be run by folks who are very well versed in the system. In my previous institution, cases were reviewed at the academic department level, which served to ensure that only "real" cases were brought to the Honor System. This mechanism could, perhaps, replace the investigative panel."
"I came from a undergraduate school with a very strong honor code, which is something I've carried with me to graduate school. However, there IS a prevalence of cheating amoung grad students. For instance, I have noticed homework answers being blatantly passed around a class. We do need to make the honor code more important, and emphasize it more, especially among populations where cheating to get ahead is deemed socially and morally acceptable."
"I do not feel that the Honor code is needed. The opinions being: Any one who wants to cheat can, no matter the obsticals, Scientific/Research "cheating" with regards to publications by graduate students will be eventually proven wrong and reflect on that persons career and thus show that this is wrong, graduate classes are structured in such a was as to if cheating is needed to pass then person will more then likely fail in gaining degree."
"I do not know so much about GHS"
"I don't like the idea of virtual classes with closed books tests. I can't help but wonder if everyone else is really keeping their books closed."
"I emailed a question to the VA Tech Graduate Honor System about my professor who was overzealous in her application of the honor system (forcing students to sign statements indicating the students had read the honor code), and I never got a response from the Honor System representatives."
"I feel some alternate methods should be developed to enforce GHS for students in international campuses."
"I feel that conduct outside of the university should fall outside of the scope of Honor System. It should only be for academic/intellectual honor problems."
"I generally have a difficult time with taking direct approach to a student accused of plagiarism because there is so much published work out there that it is hard to imagine writing a sentence about, for example, basics of electromagnetics, without someone, somewhere having written almost exactly the same sentence before. Students who are suspected should be given an opportunity to explain their work first. That said, I was a teaching assistant and caught a student cheating and I really don't tolerate that. My approach at the time was to ask why he did it, given that we announced before the quiz that there were 3 variations and that no one would sit adjacent to someone taking the same variation. The student's response was rather shocking - that he felt he had to because he didn't have time to complete the quiz, and didn't expect the TA (me) to give him an extra 5 minutes of my day to complete it. I explained to the entire class that I absolutely had the 5 minutes and I would not tolerate cheating or plagiarism, but that I would, if asked nicely, take a little extra time to help students as possible. It didn't happen again. I guess my point is that if professors and grad students sit down and discuss expectations very clearly, many misunderstandings can be prevented, leaving clearer cases of intentional plagiarism and cheating to stand, hopefully alone and rare in occurrence. I really don't think too many people out there want to have a graduate degree with work that they cannot back up with knowledge and their own talent..."
"I have been a volunteer - the system seems to work well."
"I have had to read over and pass an online "test" on academic integrity at another school where I took graduate courses, it was entirely common sense."
"I have no experience or contact with the disciplinary system. Seems fine to me...?"
"I just heard of this name-Graduate Honor System, but instructors never explain it."
"I like that it is simple and simply stated. My undergrad school went overboard on it and as a result, people were paranoid constantly, accusing others frequently of violation which almost always turned out to be misinterpretations, mostly because of lack of information and because of the process of reporting. We were BOUND by contract to tell the suspected perpetrator of our suspicions and to demand that they turn themselves in within 3 days (I think; maybe 5 or was a long time ago) or the accusor would be obliged to turn them in. The problem with that is that once someone had been accused, there would be a trial (of sorts) regardless of the circumstances, even when it was a gross misinterpretation. The other problem with that was that if the suspected perpetrator did NOT turn themselves in (even if clearly not guilty), and the accusor decided not to turn them in, the ACCUSOR was then under investigation for identifying a situation but not reporting it, which called his/her character into question. For example: In my summer class of 6 students, our final exam was an essay. All 6 of us had totally different topics. Research and collaboration among classmates was allowed but not necessary or helpful since the topics were so different. My classmate was a horrible speller (we didn't have computers then, so no spell check). I edited her paper for spelling and grammar errors (I was a foreign language major, so I knew English spelling and grammar quite well). Her roommate saw me editing the paper (which I was allowed to do by my professor, but she didn't know it because she was not in that class) and put a note in my mailbox requiring me to turn myself in within the alloted amount of time. I was home for the rest of the summer and did not receive the note until September, a few weeks later. By that time, procedures had begun to assemble the committee. In addition to the accusor's testimony, I and my classmate were questioned. Fortunately, the professor's testimony was required as well, in which he stated that there was no problem with what we had done whatsoever since he stated that we could work together and help each other as needed (though I only helped with spelling and grammar editing; not content). I was found not guilty (unanimously), but the trial remained in my file throughout my school career. However, my reputation suffered until word spread of my innocence (and at a small college, damage is often already done and can't be repaired regardless of the outcome). I'm glad that VT isn't THAT strict about the system. What we have works and is sound. Thank you."
"I sit on the GHS court as a student, and in general I think the system works fine. Usually students are there because they deserve to be. There have been rare occasions, however, when there has been a student referred unnecessarily, and it's hard to understand the professor's motivation. (these never made it past the initial GHS review step). Also, I'm quite sure there are some professors who deal with issues outside of the GHS formal system. I guess my point is, should professors also be given better training and guidance on the GHS?"
"I strongly agree with "the development of an alternate, decentralized mediating process that could be used prior to or in lieu of initiating formal Graduate Honor System procedures." Regarding tools to assist instructors/professors: 'Turnitin' as a tool to educate, prevent, and detect plagiarism appears to be a very good idea. But such tools must be throughly evaluated (e.g. automated grading of grammar, etc.) is too much privatization of education which instructors/professors should be providing to students. One must question their philosophy of education 'What are the implications of automating such educational processes?'; as well as the true nature of such services 'Are these computer programs built with sufficient input from academic professionals who are held to the same standards as Virginia Tech instructors/professors (i.e. just because the computer says it's correct doesn't mean a programmer didn't make a mistake in the code)?"
"I take the honor system very seriously. However, in the effort to not run afoul of the honor system, I am occasionally hesitant to ask my classmates for any opinions and help or clarification on minor matters, as I believe it is technically possible that such help or clarification could potentially be construed as not living up to the standard of "your own work." That may be an overbroad approach, but it is the safest one I can think of. Of course, in projects or assignments in which teamwork is required this is much less of an issue. However, most work is of singular effort. I believe some of the best components of education are the shared experiences, and particularly the academic nature of my work, combined with widespread internet use make otherwise well-intentioned and casual conversations a little tenuous, such that I occasionally preface my comments with a verbal and intentional recognition of the honor system/code. The fluidity of conversations often easy morph from casual comments as shared experiences to pointed commentary and analysis of assignments when people who care about their work become engaged in the discussion of it. I can't but help wonder if work informed by such conversations would be questioned as truly and without question, "your own work." Perhaps that is rather excessive caution, but I want to be safe. Also, I would like to see more consideration to the issue of how, with increasingly "thick" and complicated nature of the material students are to synthesize, analyse or reference, to avoid plagarism. Sometimes it is very difficult to say something more succinctly and/or more clearly than that which is already stated, particularly when you agree with the point/concept made, and that it allows you to connect or underscore a train of thought. It seems to me to be dangerous waters. It has occurred to me that in reading certain material, the author stated the concept "perfectly" and that I, myself might have certainly come up with the same language with a little of the same time and editing as such original material receives. I find it interesting to think about how I would rephrase/synthesize or articulate an idea which has already been well-stated, and usually my own effort which is an effort to NOT plagarize is conspicuously longer, more "wordy" and awkward. I'm not sure that the resolution to this issue is easily resolved by a writing workshop. I take the honor system seriously. I think about it, and do not give it the "rubber stamp," as I believe is obvious."
"I think a norming session prior to or within the first semester of graduate education would be very helpful. In today's diverse world there are many different view of ethical behavior. Providing students with an understanding of intellectual property could help those students who "didn't know better" as well as serve as a reminder to those who do."
"I think a short tutorial when we arrive at Tech our first year would be helpful. I don't really hear much about it, rather have heard more about the Undergrad honor system because I have to address it in my own syllabi and at the beginning of each semester."
"I think far more emphasis needs to be placed upon professor integrity and research ethics. I have personally witnessed that even when confronted with strong evidence from multiple parties of research misconduct by tenured professors, that instead of adopting an impartial search for truth and metting out a befitting serious academic punishment, as would occur to a graduate student for a similar action, the university investigation (which is carried out by their colleagues) instead focuses upon doing everything possible to get their colleague off the hook and ignoring and trying to reword facts, and avoid the possibility of public knowledge that one of their tenured faculty has done this, and with publicly-paid grant funds. The system doesn't work, and students and researchers who go through the risk of reporting misconduct are the ones who instead are allowed to be punished. It is clear that far too many faculty are willing to be complicit in covering for unethical behavior of their colleagues for the system in place to work for faculty misconduct."
"I think it is important faculty also follow honor code regulations for reporting honor code violations. Also, it may be helpful to remember students make mistakes and may need additional assistance from a professor."
"I think it's working well."
"I think more emphasis needs to be placed upon our honor system. I have been in graduate classes and witnessed other students cheating and that is not acceptable. If this school becomes associated with a poorly maintained graduate honor system, our advanced degrees will be less valued by future employers."
"I think much about Honor Code is assumed. Yet with a diverse set of educational and cultural backgrounds present in graduate education needs to be clarified in the spirit of research. There is a fine line between a direct copy of someone else's work as your own and using that prior work to further a study. In short, how historical work is presented and cited alongside new work would be equally valuable than an honor code lesson."
"I think Professors should have the autonomy to determine what their policy is in regards to cheating etc. But many graduate students aren't even aware of what the honor code means and why they should care about it. Much of this I think is related to how hard (really easy) our judicial system is here on campus. In the 1990's the Director pursued direct follow through on issues that came to them..."
"I think that few people take the honor system seriously. It is difficult for professors to take action through the system. Also, there are rampant violations but the attitude is everyone does it, so why shouldn't I. Having to go through a tutorial won't change that."
"I think that these policies are very important in undergraduate school but as a graduate student you should already understand the rules and want to do your own work. i don't feel that it's necessary to make graduate students go through another seminar about this topic."
"I think the GHS is very fair."
"I think the honor system functions well overall, though sometimes there is confusion between the plagiarism and cheating charge. People also tend to get of track during the Investigative Panel review. I think a decentralized mediating process would be good because it is already done formally. This would also be helpful in cases where the student pleads guilty prior to the judicial panel."
"I think the honor system is a very valuable part of our graduate education. It provides a means for students to be accountable to their peers for their behavior. The most prominent source of ghs cases, in my experience, relates to plagiarism. I think it is very important for students to understand what plagiarism is, and what they need to do to cite their work properly and avoid plagiarism. It seems like in many cases, their is not an intent to plagiarize, but there is a lack of understanding of proper citation, that leads to inadvertent plagiarism. I think it would be of worth to educate students more fully on proper citation appropriate to their field."
"I think the professor should go out of his/her way to talk with the student first before initiating formal Graduate Honor System procedures. If he/she isn't satisfied with the student's efforts to fix the problem then it should go to the formal system. I think professors should be trained on how to deal with students when problems arise."
"I think the professors should explain the honor code in their words in the beginning of the first class."
"I wish that I would have known more about the GHS when I came into school--I have encountered two infractions by doctoral students that I did not report because I did not know the proper procedures."
"I would expect that graduate students hold themselves to a high standard and would not often need a formal honor system, although I realize it is necessary."
"I would suggest not adding more bureaucracy to the system, with intermediate forums or processes (see last question). That would only mke things more complicated. Keep things central, keep them simple, and people will respect our system a lot more."
"i'm indifferent about the above question"
"I'm not sure what the last question is asking. You need more detail on what the alternate process is in comparison to the formal one"
"I've never cared for the phrase "honor system" in any context, and I don't like that it has to be mandated. I think that academic integrity should just be expected, without having to be spelled out."
"if this were the judicial review or affairs people, i'd have more to say. as far as this goes, punish the ones who make cheat and make the rest of us look bad."
"In many ways, all honor code systems and anti-plagiarism software is antiquated and out-of-step with the way modern students learn, share, and construct knowledge. Are there people who cheat, lie, and steal? Yes, but programs like Turnitin and a Graduate Honor System only work to keep the honest people honest. (It's a moot point and a waste of time and resources.) The instructors need to learn how to better construct their assignments and assessments; improved teaching and evaluation wouldn't allow for (or encourage) plagiarism. Good luck making that horse drink from the water, though."
"In my experience as a panelist, many of the investigations brought forth are for minor things that do not warrant much punishment. In these cases (especially when the student in question admits to the offense) it seems like they could be dealt with internally in the classroom. Perhaps giving the investigative board the power to refer the case to a mediator, rather than having to send forward cases that really aren't that important."
"In my opinion, either students have their own "Honor Code" and will be ethical in how they approach their studies or they won't and having or not having an "Honor System" is really not going to make much of a difference to them. When I first found the Graduate Student Handbook I read the entire thing, including the part about the Honor System. But the truth is that I would never have needed to read it, because I would never do anything against such a system, because I value my integrity and character and I believe in living by my own code of ethics which includes being honorable in the work I do for school. I do not feel that having �other� tutorials or websites on the Honor System is of much use. However, the website about plagiarism, Turnitin, might not be a bad idea for those who are not sure whether they are writing ideas and quotations correctly."
"In my opinion, VT does not place enough weight on the Honor an example it was boiled into my brain almost daily at has more of a "tradition" at works."
"In my short time in the PMBA thus far, I have been very disappointed that students do not seem to take the honor system more seriously. I take it extremely seriously and don't want to hear one thing about violating what our professors ask us to do. I do not sense that the general student population feels likewise. I did my undergrad at JMU ('89). I don't know if times have just changed a lot since then or if it was different at JMU or some of both. I have thus far avoided any awkward situations about this, but I would rather see more emphasis going forward."
"It is standard and good."
"It isn't very well explained, nor very well promulgated and it's not a given that VT grad students understand plagiarism. we had to self-police one of our group members who had plagiarised. I don't believe that students should have access to Turnitin, unless they are Teacher's Assistants."
"It seems to me that most Graduate students, being familiar with undergraduate Honor systems, have a fundamental base from which to work. I think more attention needs to be given to helping GTAs deal with violations in their classes."
"It's pretty cut and dry. ????"
"Last question of the survey is a bit convoluted."
"Many international students either do not fully understand the GHS as it is followed in USA or some wrong notion/interpretation. The instruction should include some of the dissimilarities and examples what to do in similar situations. For example, even if we borrow some idea from other sources which are of little or somewhat relevant to a particular context of a paper/thesis international student do not bother to give quote or full credit to the original source. This is not that they don�t want to give the full credit but oversight such requirement. But this is also plagiarism. Hence, such cases in similar examples. We may include some situations from previous Honor court cases."
"More education is needed about the system and the ramifications about breaking the honor code"
"More than anything I would be in favor of teachers actually enforcing the honor code. It is frustrating to see your peers so obviously disregarding the honor code and to have your professor ignore the problem. It cheats my education, which is not something I'm paying for. There needs to be a system that holds students AND teachers accountable."
"Most students (especailly international) not familiar with and/ or not knowing plagiarism or consequences of it. Most of the time they think they know how to paraphase or cite but sometime it was not done properly..Thus result in pagiarism eventhough it is not thier intention."
"Most syllabi mention honor code BUT NOT ALL. the Prof's should state guidelines about what is individual versus collaborative effort. some do, but not all. There are a core group of students who do not care about the Honor Code - they will cheat anyway. I don't know how clarification of the Code will actually help."
"Not really relevant to someone who doesn't cheat, it's kind of stupid, for lack of a better adjective, considering we're all mature adults and not high school students who don't care about what we're studying..."
"Of course, having access to tools such as Turnitin, does not mean one knows how to use it appropriately."
"Overall, I am surprised to learn how unnecessarily difficult it is for a cheating student to be punished at Virginia Tech.My primary issue with the current system is that a professor/instructor's testimony carries no more weight than a student's testimony. This is ludicrous as it means that any professor/instructor that witnesses a student cheat is powerless to stop them and also has to provide "proof" that cheating was witnessed. This would be comparable to a legal courtroom taking an officer of the law's testimony no more seriously than the accused. I am requesting that the professor/instructor's testimony be given more weight than students thereby replacing the "50/50" standard. A faculty member's opinion should inherently carry more weight than a student's in all aspects of academics. When it concerns cheating, it is difficult for me to comprehend that in the future, I should rely on other student's testimony to validate my testimony. The second issue I have with the current system is the issue of "proof" concerning the potential similarity between the tests. I would like to know how "similar" a test has to be with another test in order to "prove" that cheating has occurred. Since about half of my test is short answer "proving" any similarities is meaningless. How similar do the tests have to be? It is it one question or several questions that have been reworded by the cheating student? Further complicating matters, my tests involve mathematical problems and any similarities between test answers does not really "prove" anything. You can see the problems with subjectivity here. I am also not aware of any guidelines explaining how a test answer is ruled as "similar" or how "similar" tests answers or tests have to be before being considered "similar." Finally, do non-similar test answers "disprove" that a student was copying another student's test answer? My third issue with the Honor System is that it is far too lenient. I would understand that an abundance of "proof" have to be offered if a student Virginia Tech were going to be expelled for a cheating such as the case with capital murder. However, I was informed by the Sara Estes the Associate Justice for this case that if a guilty verdict was found then the cheating student would have received a double-weighted zero, 50 hours of community service, and the student would stay in school. Since the students are not expelled from Virginia Tech then I am requesting that the punishments given to the cheating student be increased. My final issue with this case as it highlights problems in the current Honor System is that that student in question cheated twice. He cheating in the classroom during my test and then cheating in during the proceedings by lying to the Honor Court. If this system does not change it teaches students that if the cheat repeatedly they will not be punished. It also teaches faculty members that the Honor System is flawed, powerless, rules in favor of cheating students, and not worth a faculty member's time."
"Personally, I do not cheat or do anything that would be in violation of an honor system (hence the reason, I have not paid particular attention to VT's specific honor system). However, as a teacher / grad student I know that individuals do cheat. I think you should make it easier for the teacher to identify individuals who are not in compliance with the honor system and make punishment as severe as possible. People cheating in school leads to cheating elsewhere, which has lead to many business' downfall."
"plagiarism still exists at the graduate level. Many students (especially international students) do not realize what it is and how it is unethical."
"Professors should have to abide by the honor system as well. Some graduate professors are blatently biased with who gets graded fair, which is a violation of the honor system."
"Provide something other than yes no answers! I'm not sure whether there should be another mediation process. Probably; to weed out mistakes. But..."
"Seems good to me just like it is."
"The cohort appears to adhere to the Honor System. It is a vital part of the academic experience."
"The GHS is continuously improving. However, there is still an important element missing from the system, that being preventative measure recommendations from both the instructors and students involved in each case. Once this step is constructed and initiated then the final step of training can commence. These two last steps are the most important steps for minimizing the GHS case load schedule and creating an educated graduate student body to prevent cheating, plagiarism, and other research and ethical violations."
"The Honor System associated with Virginia Tech should be a priority of this fine institution."
"The honor system is critical to the graduate program. You cannot have one without the other. Anything that improves awareness of the honor system and prevents or uncovers cheating would be welcome. The only reservation with automated tools would be that the students should have access to the tools also. That is, a student should be able to submit their papers to the tool before turning it in. Also, the online system cannot be the last word in a plagiarism case. A human must verify that the flagged issues are legitimate plagiarism before any penalties are applied to the student. Decentralized mediating should not allow cheaters to go unpunished or reduce the penalties for cheating. The devil is in the details with how this would be implemented. I do not have any experience with cheaters or the honor system so I cannot say if the system needs to be changed or improved. I think that an online resource that details what is plagiarism would be helpful to new students."
"The only challenge I've run into is instructors putting a generic reference to the GHS on their syllabi, stating that all homework is individual work, but then not actually expecting that. Half-way through the semester, I've asked instructors if students are allowed to discuss homework at all. Both replied, "Of course. I just expect that what you turn in is your own written work." Their written statement was a higher standard than their actual expectations, which will only dilute the attention students pay to the syllabi references in future classes."
"The only concern I have about that software is how does it know the difference between a quotation in a paper and outright plagiarism?"
"The panels that the students go in front of need to have individuals from the area of research/discipline as the accused. I have sat on panels where people didn't feel they could make a good decision because they didn't understand the assignments they were looking at. This is especially important for engineers and computer language involved plagiarism cases."
"The plagiarism system may help- that is how they caught the journalist plagiarizing all of his articles at the University of Maryland. I think the biggest problem is one of personnel and timing- it takes forever to have cases heard because there aren't enough people on the panels. I know I have had some questionable situations as a TA, but I was told not to bring it up to the honor court because of how difficult it was to deal with from a time & effort standpoint. I also think it may help to adopt something like Maryland's HS pledge. Students have to write something to the effect of 'I pledge that I have not given nor received any unauthorized assistance on this assignment.' It may help remind the students that VT is serious about honor code violations."
"The process, in my opinion, has three major problems; 1) The process is too slow. In my case it two 2 months to be able to simply learn what the allegation was. The process was started by my professor on Oct 17 2007 and I was only able to learn about the violation on the week of Dec, when I finally was able to talk to an investigator. 2) The process, that on paper claims that a student is innocent untill the investigator the board decision, is "de facto" punitive since the first day the allegation is reported. As an example, the student has an "hold" immediately in place. The hold does not allow the student to "request a class" or simply register for a class. The request or registration can only take place via a "proxy" (see Grad School person) yet the process is slow and unclear, so by the time the details are worked out, it is too late to register since the class is full. So even before a student is found "guilty" the process can be punitive. 3) There should be a group of dedicated pool of "public" either students or faculty members that can act as an attorney for the accused student. There can not be justice, if there is no level plain field between those that accuse and those that are accused"
"The questions regarding "turnitin" and the final question addressing an "alternate, decentralized mediating process" are difficult to give a "yes or no" answer to because I am unfamiliar with the concept of both. I followed the "turnitin" link but found the website difficult to navigate. Thus, I'm not sure my responses to those questions are accurate and relevent. The survey would be much improved if there were background information to the questions as well as additional answers to choose from that reflect a student's ignorance of the question being asked. With that being said, I do approve of any additional measures that can be taken to improve a student's awareness of the honor system and available resources early on in the academic career."
"The reason some of my answers are no is because even though the M.I.T. program that I'm in is very good, money should be spent on making it better, not on preventing plagiarism. People who decide to become Graduate students do so because they are interested in the material. A Graduate student who's interested in learning about what they chose to get a graduate degree in is unlikely to plagiarize. However, I'm not saying it should be disregarded."
"There should be an online tutorial available online that students can go to at any time. A summary of main points would also be helpful. A process prior to the formal procedures would be helpful, yes."
"This comment is more towards the Honor System that I submit to as an instructor about undergrads. It takes WAY too long and has a reputation of not being worth submitting too. It seems this could use a review as well."
"This has been a complete non-issue for me. Maybe it is due to the program I'm in - the PMBA program - all working professionals that are doing school in our spare time - but I've never seen a hint of cheating or any reason to even consider the honor system. Why would someone cheat in a voluntary, working professional program? So, while I've seen statements on syllabi it has never even occurred to me to cheat, nor have I seen a shred of evidence that anyone else in the cohort would. So, to me, this is just common sense and should for my program does not need any attention."
"This is over-rated. I am an EMBA student currently, and we mention this only perfunctorily; we are told about its importance even less so. Perhaps we trim this down a LOT since lapidary always beats eristic any day."
"Why is the graduate honor system different than undergrads? My undergrad experience was at a school with a very strong honor system that applied equally to everyone. I have been suprised at the level of disregard I have seen here amongst grad students and some faculty for the honor system. There needs to be more emphasis and education on ethics in academia in general and the VT honor system in particular."

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